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Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
April, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 04
On Straight Footing: CranioSacral Therapy Makes a Difference
By John Matthew Upledger
When the body receives the release it needs to begin healing, change can occur rather quickly—and unexpectedly. Just ask Sharon Aldrich. A licensed massage therapist, Sharon was enrolled in her first CranioSacral Therapy class.On the third day she was watching a demonstration of a 10-step protocol technique when she looked down and noticed something that amazed her. Her feet were facing straight. Since childhood, she had lived with an in-toe gait, or pigeon toes as it is commonly referred to. Looking back at that moment, Sharon said, "I noticed that I seemed to be standing in a posture that felt strange but not at all uncomfortable. I took my focus away from the demo and looked down at my feet. For the first time in my life, I was not pigeon-toed. My feet were out and it felt good all way up my legs, into my hips and low back. I then noticed that my ASIS and PSIS were level. No more anterior rotation." The CST techniques that Sharon received during practice sessions in the first two days of class had initiated a healing process that didn't stop with her feet.
A Life of Hard Knocks
No surprise, growing up with a condition such as pigeon toes presents a host of emotional and physical challenges. Sharon's right leg was so turned in at the knee that the ankle bone was actually facing forward. Growing up, she said, "There were many times when I would be so exceptionally tired I might step on my left big toe with my right foot. I remember having to sleep at night with shoes on and a corrective bar between them." The constant reminder from her mother to, "turn your feet out" still reverberates in her memory.
To her credit, Sharon didn't allow her condition to rule her life. "I was always very active as a child," she said, naming sports, cheerleading, gymnastics, horseback riding and general roughhousing as common activities. This active lifestyle came at a cost, however. Sharon endured a number of mishaps over the years that included a fractured tailbone from a fall on the balance beam at the age of 15, a fall off a horse, and a waterskiing accident in 1997 that left scar tissue in the area around her C-3. As a result, she said, "I had chronic lower lumbar and sacrum pain, and my S.I. joints continually locked up."
About six years ago, as Sharon's body continued to lose its ability to compensate for her rotated leg and many injuries, she began to experience right hip pain. This manifested in the form of numerous severe trigger points across her right piriformis and upper gluteals. "I could not sit on a hard surface for a long time nor in a car," she said. "Sometimes my back would seize up, and I had difficulty getting out of the car." An X-ray ultimately showed that Sharon's femur was moderately internally rotated — a fact that surprised her. "I was told that my foot wasn't turned in at the ankle; it was turned in completely at the hip." The type and severity of her pain began to make sense.
Light Touch Promotes Deep Release
Pain had been a part of Sharon's life for so long that she had learned to compensate for it in her daily living. All of that changed with the gentle, precise touch of CST, which activated the release of long-held restrictions and encouraged her body to self-correct. With that initial correction, Sharon said, "I had some aching in my right quadrant area medial to lateral. It felt as if my thigh was trying to roll in and also reorganize. When we did a mini session on the last day of class, the aching stopped the next day."
In Sharon's case, she believes her issues resided in a restriction within her pelvic girdle. This was released as she received the various techniques of the CST protocol during class. Mariann Sisco, PT, CST-D, who was Sharon's CST instructor, explained the connection. "The pelvic diaphragm of fascia lies within the pelvic girdle and is oriented transversely. It connects to other transverse planes of fascia—notably the respiratory diaphragm and the hips in Sharon's case." Touching on these transverse planes with CST proved to be a key in Sharon's healing process. "Most therapists focus on the longitudinal planes, while these transverse planes are often the missing link in clients who are not quite coming along," Mariann said. Being both student and patient was an especially educational experience for Sharon. As the body begins correcting, she said, "You don't see anything happening from the outside, which is so fascinating. As a practitioner, though, you can feel all of this. It's amazing."
A Continued Path of Healing
Within three months of her CST class experience, Sharon reported a 90-percent reduction in her low back, sacrum and right buttock pain. She said that her pelvic girdle is basically stable, as well. She attributes the remaining 10-percent of pain to being a hard worker and an active person. "I now only have to stretch my low back daily for normal age-related stiffness," Sharon says. "If I don't do that, I tighten up and experience some swelling lateral to C-3 and C-4 along with headaches."
To help with her residual pain, she says, "I have shown my [MT] colleague how to do the CST technique involving the decompression of C-1 and the occipital ridge. That helps so much with my headaches and my tightness." One of Sharon's biggest marvels continues to be the condition of her stance. "I have a pair of expensive tennis shoes that I always wore to work in," she says. "They have a stabilizer bar and are made to correct pronation and rolling in on the big toe. If I try to wear them now, my feet turn completely out! It has been a life-changing experience for me not to have back pain that very often dictated a good deal of my life. Also, for the first time in my life, I no longer hear 'Turn your feet out, sweetie' from my dear mother!"
John Matthew Upledger is the CEO of Upledger Institute International. For 25 years, he has been actively engaged in all aspects of the organization — from education to clinical services. For more information about CranioSacral Therapy and other modalities offered for study through Upledger Institute International go to www.iahe.com.
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